Hereford & Worcester

Bromsgrove vicar plans to launch street pastors

Reverend Chris Wingfield at the lych-gate
Image caption Reverend Chris Wingfield wants to help curb the vandalism and littering of the lych-gate at St John the Baptist church

A Bromsgrove vicar has set the wheels in motion to launch a team of street pastors for the north Worcestershire town.

The Reverend Chris Wingfield has formed a management committee to start training volunteers.

He thinks Bromsgrove would benefit from the scheme, especially when the pubs and clubs are open at the weekends.

"I don't know of any other organisations that would help in the same way as street pastors," he said.

Mr Wingfield said he felt the street pastors would provide an additional support to the police and the council.

"These streets seem to change a little bit and I think it's that area we want to try and be pastoral to," he said.

"Street pastors would work in conjunction (with the police and council) to try and provide that peace of sanctuary and safety," he explained.

Combating vandalism

Part of the reason for suggesting the scheme is the history of vandalism to the 1650 lych-gate at St John the Baptist church.

Mr Wingfield said: "The lych-gate itself has been vandalised on and off for a long time now - there's minor criminal damage especially within the church and the surrounding areas through some over-enthusiastic revelry."

Image caption Bromsgrove high street by day but there's a 'noticeable change' at night

He says the new committee hope to start training a bank of street pastors up over the summer - but that it's still early days.

"It's something I do not want to rush into - the worse thing is that we go out half-handed and not do the right job so I think we need the appropriate training in place so we can do the appropriate job."

Street pastors already operate in Stourbridge and Worcester city centre and other market towns in Worcestershire like Bromsgrove are hoping to follow suit.

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